AnyPic Image Converter Review and Giveaway

Disclaimer: In exchange for reviewing AnyPic Image Converter, I received a copy of the software. All opinions are 100% my own.
I have a giveaway for you today! I was contacting about reviewing this Batch image processing software called AnyPic Image Converter.
Here are a few of things it can do:
  • Resize your images
  • Save your image as a different file type (RAW to JPG, JPG to PNG, etc)
  • Add a Watermark - text or a picture
  • Add a border
  • Correct your pictures for Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation
  • Convert your images to grayscale
  • You can even make Animated GIFS like this one.
The fact that is a batch processing software means that it can do all of these things to many pictures at the same time. I think anyone could find this software helpful, but I think bloggers would be especially interested in it. I resize and add a watermark to my pictures one at a time. Now I can select the photos I want to use and have AnyPic Image Converter resize the images and apply the watermark for me all at once.
I took a few screenshots of the software so you can see what it looks like.

Adding a Watermark:
I like that you can change the opacity of the watermark. I usually keep mine around 50% do you can see it, but it isn't that first thing your eyes notice.


Adding a border to the picture:


Overall I really enjoyed the software. I only had one criticism. I don't know how practical it is to adjust your brightness, contrast, etc in a batch process. I personally would want to adjust each picture individually. I don't see myself using this feature, but others might I suppose.

I noticed that on their support site they have a TON of tutorials with lots of screen shots. I think the software is pretty intuitive, but if you have a question you can definitely find out the answer there. Looking through the list of tutorials will also give you an idea of all the different things the software can do.

We use a lot of freeware programs in my house but I have never seen a freeware batch image converter that is so complete. It may exist, but I personally haven't seen it. I totally would recommend AnyPic Image Converter.

Now for the giveaway! I have 20, yes Twenty license codes to giveaway for AnyPic Image Converter.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave me a comment. Easy as pie! Make sure I have your email address, so I can contact you. One comment per household, please. If I get more than 20 responses, I will use random.org to select 20 winners.
The giveaway will run until Monday, August 8, 2011 at 9pm AZ time(Midnight EST). Winners will be notified via email. No email, no winning. That would make me sad, so don't forget your email address!

Baking Up A Cure Auction

I have some exciting news. I am participating in a baked goods auction to support Susan G Komen 3 day for the cure. It is called Baking up a Cure. More specifically, I am helping Lark from Lark's Country Heart. She is on my sister's team for the 60 mile, 3 day walk.
http://bakingupacure.blogspot.com/
The auction started THIS morning and she has have a whole bunch of yummy goodies up for the taking.
I am auctioning off 24 for of these adorable sugar cookies and ice cream cones. They look like scoops of ice cream, but they are really cookies!




These are my Mom's caramel brownies that she is offering up. They are my favorite dessert ever and I will be bidding on those myself!


Pretty please go and bid on something. I'd love it if you bid on my treats, but really I would be ecstatic if you bid on anything. The auction is HERE at Baking up a Cure

Rice Krispies Gift Card Winner

It's time to announce the Rice Krispies $100 gift card winner. The lucky person is comment #505.
"jc22.....I vote for Team Phoenix.
Thanks for the giveaway!"




Congrats I am sending you an email to confirm. I wish I had a gift card to give to everyone. I do have two more to giveaway this year, so stay tuned!

Rice Krispies Treat Pinwheels


Okay, let's see that lemonade stand one more time. See those 4 big pinwheels across the back? Those are made of Rice Krispies Treat! Today I am going to show you how to make them yourself.


Pinwheels are popping up all over blog land recently and I thought it would be really cool to try and make these out of Rice Krispies Treats. They are very fun and surprisingly simple to put together.

Supplies
  • One batch of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats made according to the instructions on the box
  • Wilton Color Spray - available at any craft store or cake supply shop. I talk more about the color spray in THIS post.
  • mini gumdrops or other candy for center
  • skewers
  • toothpick(optional)
  • cardstock template 3"-5" squares
Instructions:
1. Tightly pack the Rice Krispies Treats onto a cookie sheet. Make sure you have put non-stick spray or butter on your cookie sheet. You want a thin but dense layer of treats. You can even lightly crush the Rice Krispies in your hand before you add them to the marshmallows. This is optional. I made some both ways and they both worked fine.
2. Spray your treats with the color spray. I used pink and yellow for the stand. For the
tutorial I used pink on one side and left the second side natural.
3. Cut your treats into squares ranging from 3" to 5". Three inches can be a little challenging, so I wouldn't try going any smaller than that.
This is a 4" and 3" square.

4. Cut slits in each corner of the square using a sharp knife. Make sure you spray the knife with non-stick spray too. Do not cut all the way to the center. Tip: Make sure the tip of your knife is pointed directly at the center of the corner that is diagonal. This will ensure your pinwheel looks even all the way around.
Here are all four corners cut. I highlighted the cuts in black, so it was easier to see.
5. Pick a corner and fold it in towards the center. Squish the tip down at the center.
6. Fold up every other corner on the square to get a pinwheel.
7. For the tutorial I simply smooshed a mini gum drop into the center of the pinwheel. For our display I put a toothpick into the gumdrop and inserted it into the pinwheel. You could also use candy melts or frosting that hardens to "glue" your candy on.

8. Insert a skewer up through the bottom of the pinwheel.

To display, we filled these cute buckets with beans and added some plain Rice Krispies on top to complete the look.
Tips and Notes:
1. I would leave this out overnight to harden up a bit before you display them at a party. They will hold up better.
2. The larger the pinwheel, the heavier it will be. Larger pinwheels have the possibility of weighing themselves down and falling off the skewer. Especially in the heat. (see #3)
3. Extreme heat will also cause you problems. Our photo shoot was outside in 110° F weather. My eyeballs were sweating. As we started getting everything set up, my poor little pinwheels started drooping and falling.
4. I think these are super adorable and a big success, just keep in mind the weather factor.

Once again, thanks to Jacquilyn Avery Photography for taking awesome pictures of our Rice Krispies Display.
One more reminder, the $100 Visa Gift Card giveaway is still going on! You can enter HERE on our original recipe post. The giveaway will be up until Wednesday, July 20!

Rice Krispies Voting Update

I need to update everyone on a change to the Rice Krispies voting procedure.
It is against Facebook's rules to use "Likes" as way to vote on a contest. So here is how things are going to work now.
To vote for our lemonade stand, leave a comment on our Recipe post that says, "I vote for Team Phoenix."
Here is the post that you need to comment on: Rice Krispies Stuffed Peanut Butter Pops Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale
Please do not comment on this post, it won't count.
Thanks so much for being flexible! Now's the part where I BEG ask very nicely for you to vote.
Please go to my Teammates blogs and leave the "I vote for Team Phoenix" comment on their blog too.

Aly and Ash
Lil Luna
Around My Family Table


Thanks everyone, you are the best!!

Kelloggs Rice Krispies Ice Cream Cones

I am really excited to kick off this week of posting about all the different elements in our Rice Krispies Bake Sale and Lemonade Stand. First things first, the voting is now open on Facebook. Please go here and like(the thumbs up button) each of our lemonade stand pictures. There are four total and each one is labeled Team Phoenix. Thank you so much!!

I am going to tell you how to make these cute and DELICIOUS Rice Krispies Treats Ice Cream Cones.
Supplies:
  • Kid Size Ice Cream Cones
  • Candy Melts or Almond Bark
  • Sprinkles
  • Sixlets - I used pastel sixlets that I found around Easter time. Any small round candy would do.
  • 1 batch of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats(use the recipe on the box)
A word about the Ice Cream Cones. I went to several grocery stores before I found these at Walmart. They are teeny tiny, and the cutest thing you have pretty much ever seen. Each one is about 1.75" tall. Tiny!
1. Spray a Cookie Scoop with non-stick spray or butter well. A cookie scoop looks just like an ice cream scoop, only smaller. They aren't very expensive and I think it is well worth the investment.
2. Make your Rice Krispies treats according to the instructions on the box. After you have mixed in the Rice Krispies allow them to cool until you can handle them. Take small bunch of Rice Krispies Treats and stuff them into the cookie scoop. Pack it in nice and tight.

3. Leave an uneven edge of Rice Krispies around the edge of the scoop. You can add more or take away some Rice Krispies as necessary. A scoop of ice cream doesn't usually look perfect or exact so play with the first few until you like what you see.

4. Squeeze the handle of the cookie scoop and gently remove the Rice Krispies scoop. One batch of Rice Krispies Treats made approximately 34 scoops. TIP: You may need to spray your cookie scoop several times during the process. If the cookie scoop gets too sticky, wash it off and remove any melted marshmallow and spray again with non stick spray.

5. Melt almond bark or candy melts and place in a sandwich size ziploc bag. Snip the corner off and drizzle the candy over the ice cream scoops. I held the bag directly over the top and let it drip down the sides on its own.

6. Before the candy sets, add sprinkles and sixlets to the Rice Krispies scoop. I found it easiest to drizzle a few scoops then add sprinkles and sixlet. You don't want to get too far ahead and risk the candy setting before you add your sprinkles.
7. Put the scoops on the cones. There are a few options for this. I simply put some extra candy into the cones to help weigh them down and keep them stable. You could also dip the edge of the cone in candy melts to help "glue" the scoop onto the cone. You could also fill the cones with frosting.

This is a treat that is geared more towards children, but everyone that tried one really loved them. With one batch making over 30 scoops, there were a lot of folks that got to try these.

Here's one more look at the whole table in case you missed it.


The party continues over at Around My Family Table. Wendy is sharing her fabulous Carnival Lemonade recipe. It was delicious! In fact while we were having our photo shoot we had some children come up that were interested in buying some.

Here's the schedule for the rest of the week:
Thursday, July 14: Lemonade Stand Printables
Friday, July 15: Chocolate Scotcharoos and Rice Krispies Treats
Monday, July 18: Rice Krispies Pinwheels
Tuesday, July 19: Constructing a Lemonade Stand
Wednesday, July 20: Gluten Free Rice Krispies Lemon Bars

I want to give special thanks to Jacquilyn Avery Photography. Not only is she my teammate, she did an amazing job with our photo shoot. We are very lucky to have her!

Rice Krispies Stuffed Peanut Butter Pops and $100 Giveaway

**UPDATE-The voting procedure has changed slightly. Instead of liking our pictures on Facebook, please leave a comment on this post saying, I vote for team Phoenix." Any entries regarding Facebook will still be counted towards the giveaway. Thanks!!**

It's that time again!!
We are SO THRILLED to share our display for the Kellogg’s™ Rice Krispies™ Making Memories Challenge.
This challenges theme was:
FAVORITE SUMMER PASTIMES


We decided that one of our fondest Summer Memories was having a Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale.

What kid hasn't had a lemonade stand and loved it? Especially with this custom Lemonade stand we made from scratch.

For our main recipe we were thrilled to come up with something not only ORIGINAL and KID-FRIENDLY, but something SUPER DELICIOUS!




What's great about goodies on a stick is it really minimizes the mess, which is always a BONUS!




Speaking of bonuses, check out the INSIDE of our treat! They are stuffed with white chocolate peanut butter cups. They are beyond delicious.
Here's how you can make these UNIQUE and DELICIOUS pops...



Rice Krispies Stuffed Peanut Butter Pops
yields: approximately 24 pops


INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 7 cups Kelloggs Rice Krispies

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • 1 cup peanut butter

  • White chocolate peanut butter cups

  • White Chocolate Almond Bark

  • Long Lollipop Sticks


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour Kelloggs Rice Krispies into a large bowl.

  2. Bring peanut butter, sugar and corn syrup to a boil on medium heat.

  3. Pour mixture over Rice Krispies and stir making sure all cereal is lightly coated.

  4. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Let your kids grab a handful of Rice Krispies mixture and add Peanut Butter cup to the center and roll into a ball.

  6. Insert stick to the center of the ball and press around. Do the same for all pops.

  7. Melt white chocolate bark in a pan on low heat stirring constantly.

  8. Drizzle white chocolate over the pops and let cool.


It was so much fun to join forces in building a lemonade stand and creating all sorts of YUMMY Rice Krispies goodies for the table.


Align Center
Our Bake Sale included:
Carnival Lemonade
Rice Krispies Treats
Chocolate Scotcharoos
Rice Krispies Pinwheels
Gluten Free Lemon Bars (Using new Gluten Free Rice Krispies)
Rice Krispies Ice Cream Cones


Each member of our team has agreed to share detailed instructions on how to make all of the projects on the stand. Stay tuned to all of our blogs over the next week and a half so you can learn how to create the ultimate Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale too! Each goody is linked to the blog it will be posted at.



Now it is time for the really exciting part. Each member of our team is giving away a $100 Visa gift card.

Here are all the ways you can enter:
1 Leave a Comment on this post saying, "I vote for Team Phoenix."
-1 entry-

2. Like Cute as a Fox on Facebook.

{Already do? Just remind me!}
-1 entry-


3. Follow me on Twitter (CuteAsAFoxBlog)
-1 entry-

5. Follow my Blog with Google Friend Connect.
Already do? Just remind me!
-1 entry-

7. Tweet, Facebook or Blog about this Giveaway.
-1 entry-
(tweet: I entered to #win a $100 #giveaway from #RiceKrispies with @cuteasafoxblog ends 7/20. Enter here: http://cuteasafox.com )

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry along with your
email address.**
Each person on my team will also be giving away $100,
so be sure to check out their blogs for more chances to win.

Ashley - Cute as a Fox
Jacqui - Aly & Ash
Kristyn - Lil Luna
Wendy - Around My Family Table

Giveaway ends at Midnight Eastern on July 20th. The winner will be announced on July 21, 2011. In the meantime, you can head over to the Rice Krispies Making Memories Circle on The Motherhood on Thursday, July 14th at 1 PM ET where there will be a special LIVE chat with all the different teams and a Dietitian.

Our whole team hopes that you are inspired to get in the kitchen with your kids and start making memories!
GOOD LUCK!

Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Begins no earlier than 12:00:00 AM (ET) on 6/14/11 and ends no later than 11:59:59 PM (ET) on 7/26/11. For complete Official Rules, go to http://web.mediacdt.com/docs/RKGiveawaySummer.pdf. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Subject to complete Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: The Motherhood; www.TheMotherhood.com.

Beach Towel Rompers


Recently I saw some awesome beach towel rompers as part of the craft contest One Month to Win it. Rightfully so, the tutorial, which was created by Tori at Apostrophy Designs, won. Tori posted the tutorial on Monday and I was sewing one on Wednesday and one on Thursday! I was so excited to make these! I made two, one for my daughter and niece. The towels came from Target.

Here are what Tori's looked like:


Here is another shot of mine.
My niece is such a fire cracker. That wind in her hair was all her.

I experimented a little here and there, so I thought I would tell you what worked for me. You might want to go and read the tutorial before you read my tips. It will make more sense that way.
  • Waistband: For my daughter's, I cut one long strip of towel that was 2" wide and hemmed the top and bottom. I used just one piece of 1" elastic. I used the MADE tutorial for the waistband on my niece's romper. You do NOT double over the fabric though. Simply hem the top and bottom. I like the look of the MADE waistband much better. It wasn't that much more effort, so I recommend going that route.
  • Top band: When I marked where I wanted the top to lie, I measured up 3" and cut the towel there. The tutorial didn't give a specific number so I though I would put that out there.
  • Elastic: My spicy 3 year old got really cranky trying the piece on so many times to fit the top and waistband. On my second romper, I marked the top and the waistband at the same time. I threaded all the elastic at once(top band and two waistband pieces) and then tried it on to make adjustments where necessary.
  • Straps: The straps in the tutorial were serged, which I didn't want to do. I'm still a bit afraid of my serger and getting it out and set-up is a production in and of itself. So I thought I would try to make some bias tape out of the towel and use that for straps. FAIL! The terry cloth is way too thick for that. I zig-zagged the edges of the second straps. We'll have to wait and see how that holds up. Ribbon or knit would be good alternatives.
  • Straps: I recommend making them longer than 18" each. I didn't and I feel like they are a little too short to tie a bow.
I highly recommend making this. I think they are so darn adorable. I'm so glad I made a second one. I was a bit discouraged after the first. My daugher really can be "spicy." She may or may not have said, "This is not cute!" and spit on the ground. She's come around now though. My niece loves hers too. Thanks for the tutorial, Tori!